Welcome to the Fantasy Football Forecast! My goal with this weekly column is to get you actionable information as quickly as possible, regardless if you're playing season-long fantasy, DFS, or are grinding player props. If you're just looking for fantasy football rankings and only have 10 minutes to skim through for your sit/start decisions, then head over to the "Forecast" sections below where I project each player's PPR finish based on a 12-team league. But if you want to get your research on, then I have full player breakdowns. As always, hit me up on Twitter @HaydenWinks if you have questions.
Teams are listed in order of their Vegas projected team points.
Page 1: CLE, NO, ATL, NE, PHI, BAL, OAK, SF, TB
Page 2: CHI, SEA, DET, PIT, TEN, LAR, NYJ, GB, BUF
Page 3: DAL, CAR, JAX, WAS, NYG, MIA, DEN, CIN
TNF: HOU, IND
Byes: ARI, KC, LAC, MIN
Browns (28.25 projected points, -11 point spread) vs. MIA
Update: David Njoku is not expected to play. That leaves more targets for Beckham, Landry, Hunt, and Chubb.
The nerds’ stats have Baker Mayfield as the worst QB through 11 weeks, but Mayfield is a rebound candidate this week with Miami coming to town. Vegas projects the Browns for 27.75 points, and the Dolphins are in the bottom 12th percentile against fantasy quarterbacks and just placed two defensive backs on injured reserve this week. Mayfield is on the QB1/2 borderline despite being fantasy’s QB22 thus far. … The Dolphins are one of three defenses to allow more rush attempts (31.7) than pass attempts (31.5) per game this season. Nick Chubb obviously has a ton of touchdown equity this week. He’s second in inside-the-five carries (12) and Miami has allowed the most touchdowns per game (3.5) this season. Chubb is an upside low-end RB1. … Kareem Hunt ran the third-most routes (23) on the team last week and has operated more as a receiver (6.5 receptions per game) than a runner (5.0 carries per game). David Njoku’s potential return would slightly lower his target share, but Hunt is a candidate for 4-8 receptions this week as an RB2/3 option. Hunt has league-winning upside if Chubb were to miss games.
Editor's Note: Drafting is only half the battle. Dominate all season long with our Season Pass! Use our NEW Start/Sit Tool, Trade Analyzer, Consensus Rankings, Projections and more on your way to a championship! Click here for more!
Odell Beckham is a positive regression candidate. His usage (see above) has been elite over the last two weeks, and he’s obviously capable of monster games. There might not be a better matchup than hosting Miami, who sent S Reshad Jones to IR this week. It’s a week to bet on Odell breaking out of this funk, especially since he has a big speed advantage on CB Nick Needham. OBJ is on the WR1/2 borderline despite being PPR’s WR27 through 11 weeks. … Jarvis Landry will also have no issues getting open against Miami and has a nice 6-10 target projection as the 1B in the passing offense. The WR19 on the season, Landry is a strong WR2/3 with the Dolphins checking in as DVOA’s worst pass defense. …
David Njoku was lifted off injured reserve and has been able to practice this week. It’s very possible that he is active, but I’d project him for 40-60% snaps if active. In his lone healthy game this season (a Week 1 blowout loss to TEN), Njoku ran a route 70% of Browns’ dropbacks and was targeted six times. Njoku would be on the TE1/2 borderline if he’s active despite a 3-6 target projection given the tight end landscape and matchup.
Saints (27.75, -10) vs. CAR
Drew Brees has the lowest average depth of pass attempt (5.9), largely because Brees has completely gone away from throwing deep passes. That doesn’t mean Brees can’t hit a ceiling in fantasy, but it does make it a whole lot harder. This week, the Saints may shift more of the offense to the running game given the Panthers pass/run efficiency splits and they obviously have the personnel to do so. Even if that’s the case, Brees has plenty of touchdown equity with the Saints’ 27.75-point team total, making him a mid-range QB1. … Alvin Kamara is averaging a career-high 6.4 receptions per game with Brees checking down more often, but he’s also a candidate to beat his 12.9 carry average this week. The Panthers are dead last in run defense DVOA and the Saints are 8.5-point home favorites. Kamara is an upside RB1 and deserves plenty of DFS attention. … For the same reasons as above, Latavius Murray is a flex option despite back-to-back stinky stat lines. Murray, who only averaged 5.3 carries in Weeks 1-6 with a healthy Kamara, should see 8-14 carries in positive game scripts moving forward after running the ball 10 times last week. Murray earned more looks with his performances while Kamara was sidelined.
Michael Thomas is on pace to break the receptions record. The Panthers are in the bottom 22nd percentile against fantasy receivers. The Saints are projected for 27.75 points. You know what to do. … Ted Ginn (27 routes on 37 dropbacks last week) and Tre’Quan Smith (25) are low-volume dart throws, who needs Brees to take more downfield shots to be more than WR4/5s in fantasy. The good news for them is the Panthers’ soft spot in their defense at the 10-25 yard range (Ginn’s aDOT is 14.8 yards). … Jared Cook has a 4-45-0.5 receiving line in the two games since his return. I’m expecting Cook to have many usable TE1 games down the stretch, but he will likely be up-and-down as a distant third receiving option. This week, Cook will likely need to save his day with a touchdown as the Panthers are in the top 7th percentile against fantasy tight ends. Cook is a low-end TE1.
Falcons (28, -4) vs. TB
The Bucs are the biggest pass funnel right now. They have allowed the most pass attempts per game (41) and are only being run on 23 times on average. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it. Matt Ryan should feast at home against Tampa Bay’s 31st-ranked defense against fantasy quarterbacks. Ryan, who is averaging 313 yards in healthy games this season, is a top-five QB1. … Brian Hill had 15 carries and three targets as the Falcons’ primary back last week. That was the good news. The bad news is he only averaged 2.1 yards per opportunity and was vultured at the goal-line by rookie Qadree Ollison, who outweighs Hill 232 to 219. Hill projects for 10+ touches again, but the matchup is brutal (see chart above) and I can’t rule out Hill getting benched. Hill is a low-floor flex option with RB2 upside. Consider him a DFS tournament option.
Julio Jones statistically has the most consistent week-to-week usage and has by far the highest air yards floor at the position -- Julio is at 98 and Chris Godwin is all the way down at 57. This week, Jones has a great shot at reaching an elite ceiling. The Bucs are dead last against fantasy receivers and 30th in pass defense DVOA. In his 14 games against Tampa Bay, Julio has averaged 24.2 PPR points. Make sure to have Matty Ice to Julio stacks in DFS folks. … Fresh off an 8-143-1 game, Calvin Ridley is set for another ceiling week for the same reasons as I listed above. Ridley is an upside WR2 with a 6-10 target projection. … Russell Gage’s involvement has decreased since his nine-target game in Week 8. Gage has gone from 38 routes in his first post-Sanu game to 36 to just 24 last week. Gage is a low-volume WR5 in a perfect home matchup. … Austin Hooper (knee) fill-in Jaeden Graham saw two targets while running a route on 55% of dropbacks last week. He’s a desperation TE2 option given the Falcons’ 27.5-point team total, but he has no floor.
Patriots (25.75, -5.5) vs. DAL
Update: Mohamed Sanu is not expected to play, and Phillip Dorsett hasn't cleared concussion protocol yet. N'Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers are heading towards meaningful snaps. Harry would be a plug-and-play WR3/4 with upside if Sanu and Dorsett are officially out. The rookie is arguably the best red-zone weapon on the team. James White also gets a slight bump in projected targets.
With new receivers, PFF’s 14th-ranked pass blocking line, and no Gronk, we’ve seen a decline in Tom Brady’s performance in 2019. His 3.5 TD% rate is a career-low and his 6.8 YPA is the worst since 2006. That’s made him a QB2 in fantasy in most matchups despite attempting the third-most passes (402) and that’s how he should be viewed against the Cowboys, who are in the top 30th percentile against fantasy quarterbacks. With that said, Brady has more upside than your standard QB2 because he should get better with OT Isaiah Wynn off IR and with Sanu (questionable) and Harry improving the WR group. … Here are Sony Michel’s ranks amongst the 49 running backs with at least 50 carries: PFF run grade (45th), PFF elusive rating (47th), yards after contact per attempt (47th), yards per carry (47th), catch rate (46th), and yards per target (40th). I won’t be surprised if we see Rex Burkhead -- who is better than Sony -- more down the stretch, but Michel is still the top goal-line back for now and thus remains somewhat relevant in fantasy. Michel is a touchdown-dependent, zero floor RB3 against a middling defense against the run. … James White only has averaged 3.3 receptions, 45 receiving yards, and 20 rushing yards in the three games since Rex Burkhead returned to the lineup. White still has some upside in this high-scoring offense, especially if Sanu and Dorsett can’t play, but his historical on/off splits with Burkhead are concerning. White is an RB2/3 in PPR leagues depending on injury news.
Targets and air yards in the three games since the Sanu trade: Julian Edelman (21, 203), Mohamed Sanu (18, 165), James White (10, 16), Phillip Dorsett (9, 84), and Benjamin Watson (9,101). … Julian Edelman is obviously the clear-cut No. 1 receiver, and he should handle a slightly bigger share of the work with Sanu (ankle) likely out. The Cowboys are in the top 10th percentile against fantasy receivers, but that’s primarily because they take away intermediate and deep passes. Fortunately for Edelman, Dallas is much softer in the short area of the field, so I'm perfectly fine with Edelman as a no-brainer WR1. … Phillip Dorsett was limited Thursday (concussion) but needs to clear the protocol to play. Dorsett is more approachable with Sanu likely sidelined, but he's still only projected for 4-7 targets with rookie N'Keal Harry now involved. Schematically, Dorsett is used in ways that play into the best parts of the Cowboys Defense (deep passes), so he'll be a boom-or-bust flex this week. ... First-round rookie N'Keal Harry (21 snaps last week) will inherit most of Sanu's leftover 27 routes this week as the team's most-talented outside receiver. Harry should see 4-7 targets in his first game as a Patriots starter and does have red zone equity as a physical receiver. Harry is on the flex radar as long as Sanu is out. Dorsett also missing would be the cherry on top. ... Jakobi Meyers (2 snaps last week) is next in line. … Ben Watson is averaging 2.8 receptions and 31 yards in his four games as a touchdown-dependent TE2. Watson has a better than normal chance of a score with all the injuries and with a matchup against a bottom 12th percentile defense against fantasy tight ends.
Eagles (24.5, -1) vs. SEA
Update: Jordan Howard hasn't been cleared for contact yet and is questionable to play. Miles Sanders would draw another start as a low-floor RB2/3 while Jay Ajayi has a "notable role" in his second game behind Sanders. ... Alshon Jeffery was limited on Friday and is officially questionable. I'm guessing he'll play. ... Nelson Agholor was unable to practice Friday but was given the questionable tag. He's less likely to play than Jeffery.
Forecast: Carson Wentz QB1/2, Miles Sanders RB2/3, Jay Ajayi RB4, Jordan Howard (questionable) RB4, Alshon Jeffery (questionable) WR3/4, Nelson Agholor (questionable) WR5, Zach Ertz TE1, Dallas Goedert TE1/2
Carson Wentz is just the QB14 despite playing every game. He has been hurt by his receivers, but Wentz also has the second-biggest decrease from 2018 to 2019 in Next Gen Stat’s CPOE metric that measures accuracy. It’s tough to envision a total turnaround for the offense, but this is a good spot for a rebound game. Defensively, the Seahawks are the second biggest pass funnel right now, ranking second in pass attempts allowed per game (39) and 27th in rush attempts allowed (22), which gives Wentz all the volume he needs to cash in a low-end QB1 finish. Getting Alshon back would help his ceiling and floor. … Jordan Howard remains limited in practice but hasn’t been cleared for contact yet. When healthy and starting, Howard is averaging 16 carries per game as a volume-based RB2. With the Hawks checking in as a pass funnel and with Howard playing with an injury, he would be projected for 10-16 carries as a flex option. … Miles Sanders handled just 11 carries and only caught two passes with Howard out last week. If Howard returns, Sanders is not a recommended flex play since he was seeing less than a dozen touches per week as the No. 2 back. If Sanders is the top dog, he’ll be back on the flex radar with Boston Scott sprinkling in. I’m expecting Wentz to put the team on his back this week.
Alshon Jeffery (ankle) was limited early in the week and will likely be questionable for Week 12. If healthy, Jeffery will slide back into his 6-10 target role as a big body over the middle. Jeffery hasn’t been reaching many ceilings in 2019 with a lowered average depth of target, but the Seahawks’ bottom 38th percentile defense against fantasy receivers gives him a chance at doing so, especially with DeSean Jackson (IR) and Agholor (questionable) banged up. Jeffery is a WR3. … Nelson Agholor (knee) didn’t practice Wednesday and would be canceled as a desperate flex play if Jeffery returns. … Zach Ertz has posted back-to-back nine-catch games after a worrisome streak of 2-5 receptions. The Eagles are absolutely desperate for pass-catchers to step up and Ertz has long been Wentz’ go-to receiver. With Seattle as a bottom 19th percentile defense against fantasy tight ends, Ertz is the TE1 overall this week. … Dallas Goedert is the TE10 overall since Week 10 and should continue seeing 4-7 targets with the Eagles’ receivers producing at league-low levels. Goedert is on the TE1/2 borderline and has handcuff value in the event of an Ertz injury.
Ravens (24.75, -3) @ LAR
Lamar Jackson is on pace to break the single-season quarterback rushing record and is the clear-cut QB1 overall in fantasy, finishing with at least 20 fantasy points in all but one game (PIT). Essentially matchup proof with his rushing floor, there’s not a lot to worry about with the Rams, who gave up 32 rushing yards to Russ Wilson in the only game against a rushing quarterback. … The Rams are the No. 3 run defense DVOA, but I’m not overly concerned with that in this particular matchup. A lot of those high marks stem from DT Aaron Donald, but 58% of Mark Ingram’s carries are off tackle or off the edge according to PFF. Ingram, who is averaging 13.6 carries per game, remains a touchdown-dependent RB2, however, because he is only catching 1.7 receptions per game.
Marquise Brown’s usage is statistically among the most inconsistent at the position, and he will be even more boom-or-bust this week while battling through not only an injury but against CB Jalen Ramsey. Since returning from injury, Brown has not played full-time snaps, practiced in full for an entire week, or reached 50 air yards in a game, all signs that he’s not fully back health-wise. … Seth Roberts (24 of 35 routes last week), Willie Snead (22), and Miles Boykin are Brown’s backups. … Mark Andrews has at least seven targets in all but two games (the blowout wins against NE and HOU were the exception) and is currently the TE3 overall. With Ramsey on Brown, it’s certainly possible Andrews sees 7-12 targets on Monday Night Football as a no-brainer top-three TE1.
Raiders (24.75, -3) @ NYJ
Derek Carr has not hit a ceiling this season. Even against the Bengals last week Carr managed 292 yards and one touchdown. It’s because Carr doesn’t create by himself and because the Raiders will run the ball when they can. The Jets are a pass-funneling defense on paper, but this Jets team doesn’t have Leonard Williams (trade) and C.J. Mosley (injury) right now and may not be as daunting as the DVOA indicates. That, of course, makes Josh Jacobs an RB1/2 play with obvious touchdown equity. Jacobs has a 15-25 touch projection.
Air yards in this offense are low. Nobody is reaching my “10 PPR Expected” threshold, including Tyrell Williams who has been reliant on touchdowns. Williams does have a good matchup this week. The Jets are the 30th team against fantasy receivers this season and Williams has a big speed advantage on CB Blessuan Austin. Williams is in the WR3 conversation. … Hunter Renfrow doesn’t have a ceiling in him based on his athletic profile and usage, but he has settled in as a WR4 for deeper leagues while catching 4.8 passes for 63 yards in his last four games. … Darren Waller has the toughest matchup of the group with Jamaal Adams and company defending fantasy tight ends as a top 13th percentile unit in the league. Waller should still see 4-7 targets as a mid-range TE1, but I don't think we'll see elite TE1 numbers down the stretch.
49ers (25.25, -3) vs. GB
Jimmy Garoppolo has beat up on the Cardinals in two of the last three games, but he only has 10 touchdown passes in the other eight contests. Ideally, the 49ers want to run the ball and keep Jimmy G’s pass attempts low, which makes even more sense given the Packers’ pass/run splits (see above). With the Packers also playing slow on offense, I have doubts Garoppolo will see enough volume to be more than a mid-range QB2 despite a 25.25-point team total. … Matt Breida was unable to practice on Wednesday and will likely be questionable for Week 12. That means more Tevin Coleman, Raheem Mostert, and Jeff Wilson. Last week, Coleman only picked up 14 yards on his 12 carries but did tie his season-high in targets (4). Coleman should be more effective this time around against the Packers’ bottom 12th percentile run defense, and he should see another 15+ touches with nice touchdown equity as an RB2. … Raheem Mostert’s six carries and three targets from last week should slightly go up if Breida is out again, but he’s barely on the flex radar as Coleman’s clear-cut backup.
Emmanuel Sanders did not practice on Wednesday and is likely going to be questionable for Week 12. Assuming he plays, Sanders will be projected for 5-9 targets in what could turn into a run-first affair. Hurting his projection is Deebo Samuel’s recent ascendance and Sanders’ chance of slowing down in the second half as a 32-year-old coming off a major injury. Sanders is a WR3. … Deebo Samuel is 14th in yards per route run among WRs with at least 50 targets and is finally running near full-time routes (50 and 45 the last two weeks). The rookie is impressing with an 8.9 YPT average, but there’s room for improvement. Samuel is a positive touchdown regression candidate with 11 red-zone targets to just one red zone touchdown. If Emmanuel Sanders is out, Samuel will be a WR2/3 and would still be a nice WR3 option if Sanders is available. It’s not crazy to think Samuel can outscore Sanders from this point forward. … George Kittle is also still sidelined and looks to be at best questionable for Week 12. When healthy, Kittle is a locked-in top-three TE1, especially against a Green Bay defense that is in the bottom 12th percentile against the position. If Kittle is out, Ross Dwelley will continue being a viable TE1/2 streamer after seeing seven and five targets in the two games without Kittle.
Bucs (24, +4) @ ATL
Jameis Winston has averaged 335 passing yards and 2.1 touchdowns over his last eight games. The Bucs are willing to let him rip it, and that’s the exact formula against the Falcons, who are a pass funnel if we look at DVOA metrics (see the efficiency percentiles above). One decision point for Winston is figuring out this red-hot Atlanta defense. I believe there is truth to the notion that the secondary is communicating better after coach Raheem Morris moved to the defensive side again but that probably makes them the 23rd-ish ranked defense instead of one of the very worst. It’s not enough to scare me off Winston as an upside QB1/2 with a high game over/under (51). … The Bucs left the run game in the dust last week while chasing multiple scores early, which completely busted Ronald Jones, who only had four carries and four receptions. Despite being named the starter, RoJo (20 snaps last week) lost plenty of playing time to Dare Ogunbowale (29) and Peyton Barber (12), as this continues to be a three-back committee. RoJo could bounce back in what should be a closer game, but he’s merely a low-level flex play who needs a reasonable game script on his side.
Mike Evans has the widest range of outcomes in fantasy because he has the most variance in his usage and has Jameis as his quarterback. This is a week to believe in Evans, as he’s averaged 19.0 PPR points against Atlanta in 10 career games. Evans offers slate-breaking upside as a WR1. … Chris Godwin is more of a low-end WR1 with far fewer air yards than Evans. That makes him slightly less volatile every week but doesn’t mean Godwin can’t also hit a huge ceiling -- he had 6-114-2 last time he faced Atlanta. With a 7-12 target projection, Godwin is a candidate for early-season-level production this week with the Falcons struggling against slot receivers. … O.J. Howard was essentially benched for Cameron Brate after a laughable drop last week. Howard can be dropped if you were holding onto him. Brate now enters the upside TE2 conversation after setting season-highs in routes run (47) and snaps in the slot (25) last week.